JESS Bennett, a pupil at St Pauls Catholic College, and her partner Rhiannon Turner-Noakes travelled to Bedfordshire to play in a Badminton England Silver Tournament, in Luton on Saturday, January 28.
Jess and Rhiannon (a pupil at Heathfield Community College) played together in the girls’ doubles competition.
The girls’ first match, which proved to be their hardest of the day, was against a pairing from Worcestershire.
They lost the first game 15-10, before winning the second 15-7 and beating them in the deciding game 15-13.
Jess and Rhiannon then won all the other games in their box, beating opponents from Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
These wins earned them a place in the semi final where they played a doubles pairing from Buckinghamshire, beating them 15-12 and 15-13 and earned themselves a place in the final.
Here they met a doubles partnership from Berkshire and Hertfordshire and won the match 15-7, 15-5 to clinch the Gold Medal
This win is their fourth in a very successful season. Indeed the pair have won the gold medal in each of the previous three doubles competitions they have entered.
For both girls, this was their last competition as junior players and is a fitting way to round off their junior badminton days. The girls met aged 11 when they attended trials for Sussex County Junior Badminton.
They have been team mates at Sussex ever since and for the last two years have teamed up to play doubles together on the Badminton England tournament circuit, where they have been extremely successful.
Both Jess and Rhiannon will continue to play badminton as senior players, and hope to continue to be selected to represent Sussex in their matches against other counties.
BADMINTON BOYS KEY STAGE 3 (YR 7, 8 AND 9)
Priory School entered this prestigious event for the first time not really knowing what standard to expect and using this year as a fact finding task for future competitions.
With the help and support of Lewes Badminton Club, five players were selected to represent the school at the County finals.
The team was young, with Jack Dunkley and Jamie Lambert from year 7, Joby Harris from year 8 and Sam Wray and Luke Jones the experienced year 9 players.
The boys won their group with two straight match victories and set up a semi-final against a very strong Uckfield Community College.
They pushed Uckfield to the very last match, eventually losing three and two.
Priory then played Holy Trinity in the third/fourth place final and easily secured third place.
To come third at County Finals at the first attempt is a fantastic achievement and bodes well for the future years.
Congratulations to all boys involved and a huge thank you to Lewes Badminton Club.